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5000 step out to dream the great Aussie dream at home expo

HAMMER TIME: Wollongbar’s Kain and Chloe McGarry with sons Hudson, 3, and 11-month-old Oliver at the Ballina Home Sweet Home Expo on Saturday.
HAMMER TIME: Wollongbar’s Kain and Chloe McGarry with sons Hudson, 3, and 11-month-old Oliver at the Ballina Home Sweet Home Expo on Saturday. Leah White

WOLLONGBAR couple Chloe and Kain McGarry were just two of an estimated 5000 people who attended Ballina's Home Sweet Home Expo on Saturday.

For them, the expo was all about investigating builders, properties and locations for their next home buy.

Mrs McGarry said they bought in Wollongbar six years ago and were looking to upsize to help accommodate their two boys, Hudson, 3, and Oliver, 11 months.

"I tried to look online but I'm more of a sort of visual person and speaking face to face with someone, so it's definitely been much more helpful," Ms McGarry said.

Mr McGarry said being able to meet the people behind the businesses was a major benefit of the expo.

"I just think it's handy having everything in the one spot, like financial planning and lending options," he said.

Ballina Chamber of Commerce executive officer Nadia Eliott-Burgess said the objective of the expo was to stimulate the local construction industry.

"Obviously for an event that people will enjoy and we draw a large audience to, it had to be broader than that," she said.

"And so we expanded it into options for existing home owners, people who want to buy property and decorate property.

"But also, it's about improving the lifestyles of our existing residents."

This year was the first time the Ballina Home Sweet Home Expo has been staged.

Ms Eliott-Burgess said the catalyst for the expo was the launch of Ballina Council's Land Subsidy Scheme.

The scheme offers $25,000 grants to assist low to moderate income earners purchase land within selected parts of Ballina and Wollongbar.

The expo featured 60 exhibitors, with everything from tupperware to pest control, builders, lenders, tools, outdoor furniture, thermo mixes, barbeques, wardrobe fit-outs and real estate agents.

The expo was held at Ballina RSL from 9am to 5pm.



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